What are the so-called movements in the Catholic Church?
Are they the same as lay associations?
How do they fit within the local Church?
"One of the courses I teach at St. Augustine’s Seminary is Lay Ministry in the Diocesan Church and one of the units of study is on Lay Associations and Ecclesial Movements. Bishop Gerard P. Bergie, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Catharines, gave me a copy of German’s book and I read it immediately. I liked it so much that I used it as one of the required texts for the course and the students enjoyed it very much. German McKenzie is a very clear and organized writer. He provides an excellent overview of the teaching of the church on lay ecclesial movements. It is a useful text for bishops who are considering the validity and criteria to be satisfied in order for a movement to receive ecclesial blessing and support. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about these movements and their reception in the local church."
"I took my time to read it slowly hoping that most of it would come through my 80 years old grey cells. The I read it second time highlighting what seemed to me as very important.
It is obvious that the author wanted to root his text in the best possible references... Scripture...Church History...Second Vatican Council..The Code of Canon Law...texts of Pope Paul VI...John-Paul II and Benedict XV...Canadian and American Episcopal Conferences...and more. I would have liked to see some thoughts and quotations taken from the Church’s liturgy and prayer life.
His section on the Richness of Charisms reminds us that the Holy Spirit is doing more than his share in our world of today and gives full meaning to the well known refrains:” Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us”, and “Everybody Moved by the Spirit “...covering all the ranks of God’s people. He does have healthy and valuable comments in regards to our baptismal call to a genuine “meat and potatoes “holiness as we go through the regular routines of our everyday living.
He is also very honest and admits that daily parochial and diocesan life is not always problem-free. As our Sunday gatherings reveal so clearly, all our congregations have to face and cope with the realities and very different – yet enriching cultures –plus a variety of Catholic vivendi styles. But, when difficulties arise and become serious problems, he insists on the primacy of charity at all times.
He acknowledges that all ecclesial movements should do their best and make sure that their very existence and activities are in communion with the Holy Father and the bishops...and this without affecting their rights to existence. I think that really refers to what used to be called “sentire cum Ecclesia “ and it is indeed a very precious and worthwhile principle to always keep in mind...
This book is pregnant with valuable information, insights and ideas and will hopefully lead the readers in the right spiritual, pastoral and scriptural directions."
Father Léo Couture
Archdiocese of Saint Boniface